The Before Trilogy and random thoughts

I’ll be honest, I’m a bimbo movie go-er. That means, my preference is always going to movies or watching movies to be mind numbed. Case in point – Godzilla, The Equalizer, John Wick, Edge of Tomorrow… the movie needs to be a) Lots of killing b) Super big special effects c) Not much thinking involved.

However, every once in a while, some inspired thing called ‘time’ shows up at my door and I find that I have some good movies, like really good movies to crunch through. I was on my way to Japan (I can’t sleep on flights) and managed to watch two good ones – the first was the One Hundred Foot Journey – excellent. But the second – Boyhood – was just amazing. Google ‘Boyhood’ and you will understand what so special about this movie.

Anyway, I became very curious of the director Richard Linklater and found that he directed other movies – and some of them I’ve heard before but never got to watch–the Before trilogy. It’s three movies – Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight that followed the lives of two people, separated by 9 years each movie. The thing about it, like Boyhood, it’s actually real-time. Meaning, it’s REALLY 9 years between the movies and not just the word “9 years later” and then makeup to make the actors look older or younger. It’s ridiculous.

It helps to have Ethan Hawke who is a very underated actor to be honest. I think he’s up there with Christian Bale but just never got the breaks. And Julie Delphy, who is of course, this amazing French actress who can really act (watch the scene in Before Midnight in the hotel room and you will understand).

Anyway, I won’t go into the movies, but if you have the time, watch the Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight in sequence. You won’t regret it.

It doesn’t have much drama or plot…just a LOT of talking. I mean, I never knew conversation could be so enjoyable to watch, but it is. There is like a sequence of 20 minutes of long takes of both of them (Celine and Jesse in the movie), just talking. Why is it interesting? Well, for anyone who had ever gone on any relationship – this really reflects a little of what we go through.

Awkward talking in the beginning – natural flow of conversation after a while. I recall in my college years, when you know, we were starting to move from oogling girls, to getting to know them – there were exactly those times when I was just walking and talking with a girl, exchanging ideas, philosophies, opinions. In Australia, there were plenty. Most of them were just very close friends who remain close till today, but one or two were actually people I would develop a deeper relationship with…and of course, one of them happened to be my wife today. We would go on long walks and talks, similar to the movie, and I guess that’s why it’s so relatable and watchable. It was like having our own lives being played out on screen. The mundane, yet interesting subjects we would so randomly touch on. The jokes that didn’t work. The transitionary vision of people and things.

The last is actually very vivid in the scene in Before Sunrise, where Jesse and Celine asks direction from two guys at the bridge in Vienna. They start talking and the guys invite them for a play that night, and we all think, well, that’s part of the plot. They would go to the play and have fun with the locals and develop some drama. But only….no. As the movie meander on, no other appearance from the guys at the bridge and they did not go to the play, instead hanging out alone playing pinball at a random bar. Only in the morning did Jesse passingly joked: “You know what – we didn’t go to that play.”

It’s just genius. Because that’s how we are at life. Everything and everyone is somewhat transitionary, especially if two people are in love…they forget others, not out of selfishness, but out of nature. Victor Hugo, the dude who wrote Les Mis said: “Loving is almost a substitute for thinking. Love is a burning forgetfulness of all other things.”

Sometimes, my literary side comes up, amidst all the rants on golf and hacking courses. If you have time to waste and want to watch 3 movies before you get married, or just got married, or having some issues with the other half – watch these 3 movies. Love isn’t so much of a feeling, after a while; it’s more of a decision and a lot of work. But I think to many of us, it’s worth it.

Best scenes of the movies:

a) Before Sunrise – the part where both of them pretended to be talking to their best friends over the phone (they were actually pretend-calling each other across the table) about their feelings for the other person. Genius. I should have used that as my go-to ‘kau-lui’ move in college!

b) Before Sunset – the apartment scene, I guess, when Julie Delphy (Celine) played the song about Ethan Hawke (Jesse) on the guitar about the previous meeting 9 years back. It was written by her actually and it’s actually a good waltz!

c) Before Midnight – by far, the final argument scene in the hotel room. It’s so real. It’s like me and my wife battering each other verbally before calling a truce, then battering again, then calling a truce and finally me trying to crack a joke to solve everything. Modus Operandi!

OK, have a great week and Happy hacking!

And so, the season begins

The PGA season began last week – and some news worthy stuff was how Martin Kaymer lost a 10 stroke lead in the final round of the Abu Dhabi tournament. Yes. A 10 stroke lead. That’s like a football equivalent to leading by 5 goals and then losing 6-5. That’s a basketball equivalent of leading 60 points at the half and then losing by 1. This is a collapse of monumental proportion, but then again we know Martin Kaymer is not that great a player. I covered it well here at this link: Martin Kaymer cannot draw.

Another notable is that Robert Allenby got kidnapped after he got cut in Hawaii and beaten. I frankly don’t think its a coincidence. Robert Allenby has a reputation of being a major a-hole, and he probably pissed off a few locals in the bar and probably had a beer too many. He once wanted to fight with fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvy for what he thought was a sarcastic tweet. Yes, he’s not 15 years old, he’s a lot older than that. Probably more than a few people had thought if anyone deserved to be kidnapped and whacked up, it would have been him.

Finally – golf this week. I played in my old haunt, Rahman Putra and shot an amazing 96. Yes, I am being sarcastic, and likely Allenby will take offense. I didn’t play too bad actually. I was banging my drives like a king. The problem was the rough was just ridiculously difficult to play. I had two holes where I saw the ball land but had to declare lost ball because I just couldn’t find it. It was extremely thick.

However, at least I got my birdie at the 10th. It’s the reachable par 5, where a long drive leaves you around 210. My 3 wood was good, but right, so it went into the bunker, where using my new Titleist Wedge, I got it out to 5 feet and I sank it. Unfortunately that was the only highlight as I sleepwalked with only 3 pars and a few lost balls to a yawning 96. Still, sometimes you take the positives and there were heaps of it, like finally a consistent driving round. The greens were very, very slow even by Rahman Putra’s standard, and I had around 4 -5 3 putts to compliment my great game all round. Again, sarcasm.

So my resolution of shooting below 90 average for 2015 is still quite a distance away after a 93 – 96 score to start the year!

Resolution Quick Check

New_Year_ResolutionIn keeping up with my resolution of one post a week, here is one, in the final hour of the week.

1) Score an average of 89.9. Well, we had our first game in – of all places – KRTU. As you would know me, this is not a course that I fancy at all. However, despite a downpour the day before, the course has actually improved a bit, in that it no longer represent a swamp in Florida. You can actually PLAY. I shot a respectable 44 on the front nine, but completely got overwhelmed with lousy tee offs for a 49 in my back nine. So, 93, 4 shots off my resolution. It’s just the first game. Many more to go.

2) Play Proper Golf. As in no cheats or bad drops. Not bad. The only one I had was when my ball was nestled between some roots and I requested for a free drop. Otherwise, the closest I came to breaking this resolution was when I hit one shot that I saw land, bounce but when I went there, we could not find it at all. The hole was soggy and bad, and it probably went deep into the soil. I could have dropped and asked for free drop, but its obviously a lost ball. +2. Another instance was when I was teeing off, and just as I was on my downswing, the ball Fell off the tee. I still managed to whacked it, but only around 120 – 150 meters into the jungle. Play as it lies, no freebies.

3) Learn German. Ich Spechen ein wenig und verstehe ein wenig. German is considered one of the easiest language to learn but the problem is you can’t learn it with Google Translate. Google gives a literal translation, whereas German grammar is different from English. For instance, if we asked, What time it is please, Google translate gives Wie Spat Ist es bitte? However, this is broken German as the correct way to say it is Wie Viel uhr ist es bitte? In English, it means “How many clock is it please”? Or Was machen sie? It means what are you doing, but literal translation is “what doing you?”. Darn, it’s hard! Scheisse !(which means sh*t)

4)Write an article per week – here it is.

5) Cut down the swear words – I just say it now in German instead.

6) Play KLGCC – Nicht.

7) Use my golf membership properly – Nicht.My regular foursome has abandoned me. They now have their regular group and only have me as their 3rd option if the first two cant make it, and one of their grandmother opts not to play.

8) Lower my weight to 72. Um, no. Not yet.

9) Read a book in top 10 – Not yet.

10) Go to top 10 places before I die – not yet. As in not yet gone to the place, not, not yet die.

11) Play Wasteland 2 – bought it, and playing it, to the detriment of my business. Will be writing about it soon.

2015 Resolutions

So here we are, New Year’s Day for 2015. These are the following lists of resolutions (which likely will be kept only within the first week, if lucky).

1) Score an average of Sub-90 for golf. 89.9 counts. I have been playing this game for more than 10 years now and I still struggle like a cow to break 90. It’s a mental block – like even if I know that using Driver will KILL me in that hole, and I am hitting my 3 wood like a god, I will still use driver because it’s the most expensive club in the bag. This retardedness must be suppressed in 2015.

2) Play proper golf – see my previous article on cheating and you will get what I am saying.

3) Learn German – enough to pass off as a tourist with a horrible accent trying to speak German. I was juggling between French, Italian, Spanish and German. Someone asked, why don’t you just speak Mandarin? Well – because I don’t want to visit China. I want to go Europe!

4) Write an article at least once a week – I have gone months without writing anything and am still surprised by the visits to this blog every day, s0 I’ve decided to regale the faithful readers with more ridiculousity from golf and life.

5) Cut down on the swear words – this is more personal than anything, because I have a 2 year old kid now who just the other day said something that I would love to slap it out of him – only that it came from me, and my wife probably wants to slap the crap out of me.

6) Play KLGCC – obviously no need for explanation…amazingly Gilagolf has never stepped into the hallowed grounds of KLGCC

7) Use my golf membership properly – I only played twice in Rahman Putra last year. And probably around  5-6 times in KGNS. It’s really a waste of money. To break even, I think I need to play at least 10 rounds in each club per year.

8) Lower my weight to 72. I am hovering at 76 – 78 now. I don’t know how I will do this. Probably stop snacking after midnight while watching football?

9) Read a book in the top 10 books to read before I die from the list I have actually read Don Quixote, Moby Dick, War and Peace, Great Gatsby and the Brothers Karamazov. So that’s 50% already. I will probably try and read Marcel Proust’s book. Just one book. In my heydays I used to go through 20 books a year – we’re talking about tomes from Dickens etc. Then, I was introduced to golf and became an addict overnight. So much for my love for literature.

10) Go to the one of these places before I die – I have only been to Angkor Wat, Sydney Opera House and Stonehenge.

11) I’ve added one more to the top 10 list – Play and finish Wasteland 2. This is a computer game. I generally do not play computer games due to the time wasting issues in it, and the fact I nearly failed my university by missing 2 weeks of classes and tutorials while completing Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment. I was an addict. Anyway, I haven’t touched a PC game in years, but Wasteland 2 is a different story. Aside from contributing via kickstarter, it was also one of the first RPG games I’ve played back when I was a kid in the old 386 PC I had. It took almost 26 years to get this thing to a sequel and I need to play it!